Senior Rouse Co. officials will meet with the village board and residents of Columbia's Oakland Mills village tonight to discuss the future of the community's main shopping center.
Alton J. Scavo, Rouse's manager for Columbia, and Duke Kassolis, a senior vice president of the company, are expected to discuss the company's plans for possible renovations at the village center and options for replacing its Giant grocery store that will close at the end of this month, said Erin Peacock, village manager.
The meeting will be the first time senior Rouse officials have made a public announcement on the issue, Peacock said.
"We think we'll have a somewhat definitive statement from the Rouse Co.," she said.
In February, Giant officials announced that the grocery store that has operated in the village for more than 15 years will close because of slow sales. The store lost more than $500,000 last year and more than $250,000 the year before, a Giant official said at a village meeting in March.
The news brought an outcry from some residents who feared that the loss of the center's anchor store would cause other businesses there to suffer and the village to deteriorate.
Since then, hundreds of residents have signed a petition and written letters to Rouse urging it to quickly replace the grocery store. Some formed the Save Our Center (SOC) committee and several subcommittees to deal with such issues as research on a new grocery, community outreach and intervillage networking.
At the meeting, SOC members will likely report on its recent work, Peacock said. There will also be a question-and-answer session for residents, she said.
The meeting is at 8:15 tonight at the Other Barn in the Oakland Mills village center at 5851 Robert Oliver Place.
Pub Date: 6/10/97